A crossbow-wielding drifter was branded “sinister” by a sheriff yesterday as he was jailed for two years and three months.
Scallop fisherman Jamie Wisbey was found lurking near a playpark with the crossbow and arrows, a locking saw knife, and a mask, latex gloves and a wig.
Wisbey was jailed yesterday after a jury found that he intended to use the equipment as a weapon at some point in the future.
Wisbey’s arrest sparked a high level probe after he was discovered with a bag containing “worrying” material including links to Libya and a Turkish phrasebook.
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: “As far as the jury was concerned you had them as weapons. What also had a sinister aspect was the wig, balaclava and gloves you had.
“I also consider it is appropriate to protect the public from serious harm upon your release and I will make a supervised release order for 12 months.”
Oddball Wisbey was found lurking in the bushes of the South Inch park in Perth on 1 June when a couple went to feed ducks at 3am because they had been unable to sleep.
The fisherman claimed he had missed his train on the way to join a scallop boat in Buckie and had been using Bear Grylls-style survival skills in the park during the night.
Wisbey told the trial: “I knew I was coming to Scotland so I was watching Bear Grylls and was interested in camping and things like that. I had cat gut for fishing and cotton wool for tinder and things like that.
“I didn’t really know the wig was in the stuff in my bag. It was given to me by one of the family as a joke.”
Bald Wisbey told police during an interview that the wig was to keep his head warm.
Wisbey told the jury that he had acted in a “sly and sneaky” manner by trying to hide the bag containing the crossbow and arrows and other items.
He admitted he planned to use the balaclava as a mask and said: “I thought it would be handy. It’s Scotland. It’s warm where I come from, but it’s freezing here.”
Fiscal depute Gavin Letford said: “Did Bear Grylls give you the advice to take on a fishing boat a wig, a crossbow and a mask? Were all of these items taken together not for the purpose of going on a fishing boat, but for some other purpose you were not wanting the police or court to find out about?”
Wisbey also had 11 bottles of methadone in the name of Monique Phoenix within his bag.
Panel beater Josh McNeil, 39, and carer Kirsty Edmonston, 25, told the jury at Perth Sheriff Court they spotted Wisbey going in and out of the bushes in the park in Perth.
Miss Edmonston said: “We saw a man. He was going in and out of the bushes. It was quite a strange thing to see at that time in the morning. He jumped out in front of us. He had something he was concealing in his pocket.
“He wasn’t making sense. He was very strange.”
Wisbey, from Plymouth, was found guilty of having a crossbow and arrows in the South Inch park and the railway station in Perth on 1 June this year. He was also found guilty of having a locking saw blade and methadone in the public park and at Perth railway station.